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Flying lemur impaled by razor wire fence outside Swiss Club Singapore, the 3rd such incident on this fence

Flying lemur impaled by razor wire fence outside Swiss Club Singapore, the 3rd such incident on this fence
[Left] The flying lemur found impaled on the fence at Bukit Tinggi Road on Sunday (May 8). [Right] Another flying lemur which died after getting ensnared on the same fence.
PHOTO: Robin Hicks, Acres

Flying lemurs are known to be adaptable creatures which have learned to survive in semi-urban environments such as Singapore.

Sadly, they aren't always so lucky.

A passerby named Hana Cha came across one such flying lemur impaled on a razor wire fence near Swiss Club Singapore along Bukit Tinggi Road on Sunday (May 8), reported website Coconuts Singapore. 

Flying lemurs, also called colugos, don't actually fly, but they typically glide from tree to tree in order to feed.

The animal was freed after a 30-minute operation by wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) that day.

Unfortunately, it was pronounced dead on arrival by vets at the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, said Acres.

The animal had suffered deep cuts to its jaw, limbs and its 'wings', a thin membrane of skin called a patagium which enables it to glide.

Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, co-chief executive of Acres, told AsiaOne on Friday (May 13) that it is the third deadly colugo-ensnaring incident to have occurred on this particular fence, which extends around Swiss Club Link and Jalan Kampong Chantek in Bukit Timah.  

In this incident, this colugo might have mistaken the razor wire fence — more deadly than barbed wire and lined with sharp blades — for something a lot less dangerous.

Kalai said that he reached out to Swiss Club Singapore informing them about the situation after Sunday's incident. 

Although the club's management said that they no longer owned the land on which the fencing is located at, they immediately assisted in contacting the current landowners and "helped to facilitate the removal immediately".

Contractors were engaged to remove the fence on Thursday.

Kalai expressed his gratitude to the club's management for their prompt assistance on the matter, and their "commitment towards ensuring a safe place for wildlife".

"Acres is delighted at the swift action taken by the Swiss Club to reach out to the respective landowners to remove the concertina wires. This was done less than 24 hours after we reached out to them about its issues," he said.

When contacted by AsiaOne, Aaron Lim, General Manager of Swiss Club Singapore said it was a "simple decision" to remove the fences and save the animals.

"We all love the colugos, which frequently visit our club, and are deeply saddened to see them being harmed," said Lim. 

He added that the removal of the fences took six hours, with the cost of the removal borne by the landlord whom the club contacted. 

Kalai added that other wild animals, including owls, have also been found trapped in razor wire fences islandwide.

"Following this positive outcome, we hope other areas with such concertina wires especially those near to nature reserves or with known wildlife habitats are modified, removed or monitored for animal casualties," he said.

Colugos, a pretty common creature native to Singapore, are commonly found in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park, according to information on NPark's website.

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